Police started raiding the houses of the suspects in a case filed over the accidental death of Dhaka Residential Model College student Naimul Abrar Rahat to implement arrest warrant against 10 people, including the daily Prothom Alo editor.
The family members of the accused said the police so far visited the houses of three suspects--Prothom Alo’s head of event Kabir Bakul, generator and decoration workers Mosharraf Hossain and Sujon.
Md Kaysarul Islam, additional chief metropolitan magistrate court of Dhaka, on January 16 issued a warrant for the arrest of Prothom Alo editor and publisher Matiur Rahman, its deputy editor and juvenile magazine Kishor Alo editor Anisul Hoque and eight others.
On Saturday, the police went to the house of Kabir Bakul, head of Prothom Alo’s Event and Activation, in Moghbazar’s Dilu road area with the arrest warrant.
Kabir Bakul was not at home at that time, said Abdur Rashid, officer-in-charge of capital’s Hatirjheel police station.
The family members of Mosharraf Hossain said a police team visited their house at about 2:30am on Saturday and inquired his whereabouts. The police also visited the house of Sujon and his phone was found switched off.
Jatiya Oikya Front in a statement on Saturday called upon the authorities concerned to refrain from efforts to curb freedom of expression and press.
They said the case seemed to be ‘motivated’ and urged the authorities concerned not to ‘curb freedom of expression’ through filing of such cases.
While referring to the case filed against the editor of Prothom Alo, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir, secretary-general of BNP, meanwhile, said that there was no freedom of expression in the country as the government was ‘oppressive’.
‘What is the offence of Matiur Rahman? The offence is that he wrote something. His newspaper publishes the truth and thus he has been implicated in an unnatural death case,’ he said.
Amnesty International South Asia called upon Bangladesh in a Facebook post to ensure that the legal proceedings against 10 people, including the editor of Prothom Alo, follow due process.
Earlier on Friday, 47 citizens also issued a joint statement protesting and condemning the filing of the case.
Bangladesh Federal Union of Journalists and Dhaka Union of Journalists also on Saturday in a joint statement also voiced concern over the arrest warrants.
The 14-year-old boy died at the Universal Medical College and Hospital in Mohakhali on November 1 after being electrocuted on the playground in Dhaka Residential Model College during a children festival organised by Kishore Alo, a juvenile magazine of Prothom Alo.
Five days after the death of Class IX student Naimul Abrar Rahat at an event his father Mujibur Rahman on November 6, 2019 filed the case with the court accusing Prothom Alo editor and publisher Matiur Rahman and unnamed others for causing the death by negligence.
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